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How to Hire a Home Inspector

A home inspector report with keysBefore you can say yes to your dream house, it is important to get a home inspector to do a thorough review of the property. In order to make sure you get an accurate representation of any potential problems new buyers may face, it’s essential to choose the right home inspector. Check out these 5 factors to look into when choosing a home inspector.

What to Look for in a Home Inspector

  1. Ask for recommendations from your realtor: If you trust your realtor, consider asking them for a home inspector recommendation. Over the years, realtors have likely worked with many different home inspectors. Hopefully, from their experience, they can provide you with a list of inspectors they’d recommend.
  2. Verify credentials: Before hiring a home inspector, verify they have a state-required license. While you likely won’t run into an issue where someone isn’t licensed, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
  3. Ensure your home inspector is insured: When a home inspector looks at your home, they will be looking in your basement, attic and other crawl spaces. If the home inspector is uninsured and they get injured during the job, they may try and hold either you or the owner of the house liable for their injuries.
  4. Understand what the inspection includes: Before signing a home inspector, it is important that you have an accurate understanding of what they will be looking for. For example, will they be looking at the plumbing system? Or the basement and foundation? Understanding what each home inspector does and doesn’t cover will allow you to shop around easier.
  5. Ask to walk through the home with the inspector: Walking through the house with a home inspector is very valuable for a potential buyer. As the home inspector sees something of concern or worth pointing out, they can do easily do so. This also gives you a chance to ask questions and look for anything that isn’t a concern right now but may be later on.

Let Self Storage Help With Your Move!

Have you decided to buy the home? If you haven’t already sold your house yet, now is the time to do so. When showing a house, many people benefit from using a storage unit rental to get their belongings out of the eyes of potential buyers. This helps to more accurately stage the home and can lead to a quicker sale.

Are you looking for storage in Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Detroit and Ann Arbor, MI? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan with many different convenient storage features. Reserve your storage unit today!

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Tips for Increasing Household Storage Space

A girl organizing her closetHave you ever heard someone complain about having too much storage space in their home? More than likely, the answer to this is no. Unfortunately, for many homeowners, one of the biggest problems they’re running into is not having enough storage space in the home. Fortunately, when you follow a few simple tips, you can easily increase the storage space in your home. Check out these tips below.

How to Create More Space in Your Home

  1. Declutter: First and foremost, it is important to make sure all of the items you have in your home are used and wanted. Sort through each room and pull out items that you no longer want, don’t get used, are broken or damaged. This will help to clear up more storage space in your house.
  2. Add shelves and hooks: When you can’t add more storage space at the ground level, think vertical. Add shelves throughout your home to store books, sentimental items, cleaning supplies and more. Additionally, hooks can be added to the household entryway, bathroom and bedrooms to store hats, scarves, necklaces and keys.
  3. Add behind the door storage: Behind the door is often an underutilized area in the household. This space can be used to store a variety of items, including shoes, cleaning supplies, craft supplies and more.
  4. Use suitcases for storage: If you already have to store your suitcases for your next trip, you might as well take advantage of the space inside. Pack out of season clothing, books, winter items and more inside of your suitcase.
  5. Look for storage option in furniture: When purchasing your furniture, look for pieces that come with a built-in storage option. For example, choose an ottoman that has internal storage or an entertainment stand that has shelves, drawers or cupboards.

Make Space in Your Home with a Storage Unit Rental!

If you have followed all of these tips and are still lacking storage space in your home, consider renting a storage unit. A storage unit can help to free up valuable household storage space by storing seasonal items as well as electronics, furniture pieces and more that aren’t used very often.

Self-Storage Specialists has storage facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI. Our storage facilities offer many convenient storage features to our renters, including climate-controlled storage units, truck rentals and drive up storage units.

Reserve a storage unit today!

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Renting vs. Owning a Home Advantages and Disadvantages

A sold sign in front of a houseThe choice of whether you should buy or rent your home is a big decision. While there really is no wrong answer, there is probably a choice that is more ideal for your situation. Are you trying to determine which option is better for you? Read below for a breakdown of the pros and cons of both options.

Advantages of Buying a Home

  • Ability to make the house your own: When you rent a home, you are limited with the changes you can make to it. Unfortunately, even if you want to make the most minor change, you are likely out of luck. When you own the house, you’re able to knock a wall out and make the kitchen bigger, add a deck onto the back of the house or repaint a room.
  • Working towards ownership: Long-term, buying a home is a better value. When you pay your rent, that money simply goes to providing a place for you to live. When you pay your mortgage, you are working towards one day owning the house.

Advantages of Renting a Home

  • Less responsibility for repairs and maintenance: When you own a home, you are responsible for any repairs or maintenance that are needed for the house. This means if the refrigerator goes out, you have to replace it. When you are renting and something goes wrong, you can just contact the owner of the house to get it fixed.
  • More flexibility: If you aren’t ready to be tied down to a particular area, renting may be a better option for you. Generally, renting leases are only 6 months to a yearlong. Renting a house allows you to more easily move when the time is right.
  •  Before buying your house, it is said that you should have around 20% saved up for the down payment. Depending on how expensive the home is you’re looking to purchase, it can take years to save up for this. While you will likely need a deposit saved up to rent a house, it will be nowhere near as expensive as a down payment on a home.

Storage for Renters and Homeowners

Many homeowners and renters are taking advantage of a storage unit rental. With a storage unit rental, you can easily store out of season items, large pieces of furniture and more in a location outside of your home. This helps to free up storage space in your home for items that are used more often.

Are you looking for a storage facility near you? Self-Storage Specialists has storage facilities all throughout Michigan, including in Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor. Reserve a storage unit today!

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Home Office Organization Tips from the Experts

An organized desktop in a homeWorking remotely or becoming a freelancer has become increasingly popular in recent years. But, working from home can be difficult. There are more distractions in your own home than the office, which can lead you to having unproductive workdays. If your home office is organized and set up for success, working from a designated home office can help you to be more productive. Interested in learning tips for organizing and decluttering your home office? Read below!

5 Office Organization Tips

  1. Remove items from the room that are not needed: When there are furniture pieces, boxes or other items that do not have a place in the home, they often get moved into lesser visible rooms. If this is the case with your office, move these items out of your office and into another storage space. This will help to lessen the clutter in your office.
  2. Sort through old papers: It is easy to let paperwork and old documents clutter a space. To clear some of the paperwork clutter, sort through your piles of paper to determine what you no longer need. The paperwork and documents you no longer need can be recycled or discarded.
  3. Take advantage of wall space: One of the best ways to add storage space to a room is by optimizing wall space. Use shelves to hold office equipment and a filing system to hold mail and other paperwork.
  4. Organize your desk: Having an organized workspace is helpful for having a productive workday. If your desk is cluttered with items you do not use very often, consider removing them. Next, sort through your drawers and remove anything that is no longer needed or damaged.
  5. Personalize: Throughout the work week, you spend a lot of time in your office. When you need a break from working, it is helpful to look at something your find beautiful or interesting. Add pictures of your family, your hobbies or a piece of artwork you like to your office.

Make Room in Your Household with a Climate Controlled Storage Unit Rental!

As you’re organizing and decluttering your office, you may discover that you simply need more household storage space. With a storage unit rental, you can easily increase the storage space in your home which can help keep your space organized and clutter free.

Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout Michigan, and in major cities such as Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI. Our storage facilities offer a variety of different features, including climate controlled storage units, packing and moving supplies sold onsite and drive up access. Reserve a storage unit today!

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Last Minute Holiday Organization Checklist

Three brothers standing by a Christmas tree decorating itThe holiday season is here! During this season, it is very common to have dinner parties, holiday events and overnight guests. Unfortunately, it seems like the holidays sneak up on us every year. But, don’t panic! We’ve compiled a list of some essential last-minute holiday organization and cleaning tips. Check them out below.

6 Holiday Organization Tips

  1. Prioritize: If you do not have the time to get your entire home as clean as you’d like it to be, prioritize the rooms or areas that need to get cleaned. For example, make sure the kitchen, living room, bathrooms and guest rooms are clean and organized.
  2. Work to keep your kitchen organized: It is often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home. The best way to avoid having to spend too much time cleaning it the day before your holiday party is to consistently keep it clean. Every night before the family goes to bed, make sure the dishes are put away, the appliances are clean, and the counters aren’t covered in crumbs.
  3. Involve the whole family: Cleaning and organizing the home is a lot for one person to do. Instead, be sure to involve your family. For example, every night before bed, have your kids walk around the house to make sure toys and personal belongings haven’t been left out.
  4. Create a last-minute list: When your holiday party is just a few days away, it’s easy to forget about the small things that need done. To prepare for this, create a list of items that need done leading up to the party. For example, add a reminder to order the holiday ham.
  5. Decorate: If you haven’t decorated before the season, don’t forget to do so before guests arrive! This is a great time to finish decorating the tree, hang lights outside and put up the rest of your holiday décor.
  6. Utilize a storage unit to declutter: Decluttering your entire home takes a lot of time. Instead, consider moving large pieces of furniture that are unneeded during the holiday season, sporting equipment and other miscellaneous out of season items into a storage unit rental. This will help you to have more room to host as well as keep your home from looking too cluttered.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities All Throughout Michigan

Do you need storage in the Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Detroit, MI areas? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities in many major cities throughout Michigan. Our storage facilities have a variety of sizes of storage units available in both traditional and climate controlled. Reserve a storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor Holiday Events

Santa and a young boy reading wish list After Thanksgiving is over, Michigan comes alive with many different holiday activities happening all throughout the state. Whether you are looking to hear holiday music, see beautiful light displays and decorations or visit with Santa, there is an event for you. Get into the holiday spirit at one of these events in Detroit, Grand Rapids or Ann Arbor!

Detroit and Ann Arbor Holiday Events

Meadow Brook’s Annual Holiday Walk

Now through December 23rd
The holiday season is dazzling at Meadow Brook! Now on its 48th year, guests can take a self-guided tour through the halls of Meadow Brook and see the home decorated for the holiday season. There are over 50 decorated trees and a 10-foot tall Poinsettia tree created from over 150 plants. On select nights, Santa Claus will even be visiting the home with his reindeer!

Noel Night

Saturday, December 7th
This year is the 47th annual Noel Night in Midtown Detroit. This event features over 110 participating venues, with many free events and activities. Guests can enjoy horse drawn carriages, shopping for holiday gifts and decorations and various activities for the full family. There will also be performances from over 100 local dance, theater and music groups.

Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Holiday Pops

Friday, December 13th
Ring in the holiday season with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra! This year, the beloved orchestra will be playing Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite. Tickets for this event are available online.

Grand Rapids Christmas Events

Cookies and Cocoa with Santa

Saturday, December 14th
Bring your kids to the Grand Rapids Yacht Club for a visit with Santa! Visitors can get pictures with Santa, do a holiday themed craft, enjoy some hot cocoa and a cookie and listen to holiday themed stories. The proceeds from this event benefit the East Grand Rapids Sail Team.

Explore Holiday Light Displays in Grand Rapids

Grand Rapids is glowing with gorgeous light displays for the holiday season! Are you looking for a fun and relaxing night with family and friends? Drive around Grand Rapids and view beautiful holiday displays! There is even a holiday light scavenger hunt game for kids to enjoy.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids

The holiday season is a common time to rent a storage unit. Whether you are looking for extra storage to get your home organized for holiday guests, or a place to store out of season items, a storage unit rental is a great solution for you.

Need storage in Detroit, Ann Arbor or Grand Rapids, MI? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities with both traditional and climate controlled options. Our storage facilities have a variety of sizes of storage units available for rent, including the popular 5×5, 5×10 and 10×10 storage unit. Reserve a storage unit with Self Storage Specialists today!

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Thanksgiving Events in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Grand Rapids

Santa Waiving in Thanksgiving paradeIt may seem hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner! All throughout Michigan, there are many festive Thanksgiving events, both leading up to and following the holiday. Are you looking for something fun to do in Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids? Check out these events below!

Ann Arbor Thanksgiving Events

Tiny Tots Turkey

Thursday, November 21st, 2019
Learning Express Toys is hosting an exciting event for kids ages 10 and below. At this event, kids will learn how to make Thanksgiving themed crafts. This event is entirely free, so don’t miss out!

Ann Arbor Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Day
The Ann Arbor Turkey Trot a beloved tradition for many families! The Turkey Trot is a great way to get into the holiday cheer before your Thanksgiving meal. There are many different options for the Turkey Trot available, including the 1K, 5K and 10K. The 1K Tot Truck is ideal for little ones just looking to get involved in the race. Visitors are able to run or walk each race. There will be hot chocolate, pictures with Santa as well as an after party!

Detroit Thanksgiving 2019 Events

Detroit Zoo’s Wild Lights

Weekends, November 16th through January 5th
Wild Lights is a breathtaking exhibit taking place every year at the Detroit Zoo. This event begins in mid mid-November and runs all of the way until the first weekend in January 2020. At Wild Lights, guests can see trees, buildings and over 280 sculptures lit up by over 5 million lights. For additional cost, visitors will be able to see a holiday classic movie in 4-D, as well as enjoy various rides.

America’s Thanksgiving Parade

Thanksgiving Day
America’s Thanksgiving Parade is one of the largest parades in the United States. This parade not only gets hundreds of thousands of spectators, it also is broadcasted in over 185 major cities. Visitors and viewers will get to see many of their favorite characters, colorful floats and different balloons.

Detroit Lions Game

Thanksgiving Day
If you’re looking to cheer on your favorite team, the Detroit Lions are playing the Chicago Bears at home on Thanksgiving Day! Tickets are still available for this match up.

Grand Rapids Events for Thanksgiving

26th Annual Grand Rapids Turkey Trot

Thanksgiving Day
Get a healthy and fun start to your Thanksgiving morning by participating in the Grand Rapids Turkey Trot! This event gets over 5,000 participants every year and seeks to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity and nutrition for students. Registrations for the event is still open online.

Self Storage Specialists is in the Detroit, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, MI Communities

At Self Storage Specialists, we are proud to support the local events and activities in the communities surrounding our storage facilities. We have storage facilities all throughout Detroit, Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor with both traditional and climate controlled storage options. Reserve a storage unit today!

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Self Storage Specialists!

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Holiday Giving in the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Areas

Kids with their friends in warm winter coatsAs the holiday season approaches, many people begin to look for a charity or organization to donate to. Whether you are looking to donate warm winter items, gift cards or holiday gifts, there are charities seeking donations near you in the Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Detroit and Ann Arbor areas. Read below to find 4 charities seeking holiday donations!

Ann Arbor and Detroit Charities

One Warm Coat

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit and seeks to provide a free winter coat to anyone in need. This organization has locations all over the United States. Since One Warm Coat was founded, they have hosted 34,000 coat drives and given away more than 6 million coats.

Ozone House

Homelessness for youths is a problem for not only the entire country, but also Washtenaw County. Ozone House seeks to help these youths with shelter, individual or family counseling, support, life skills training, help with enrolling in school or food. Ozone House is always in need of blankets, toiletries, clothing in adult sizes, bus tokens and gift cards. This holiday season, they are also accepting food for holiday parties, gift cards, and gifts for students through a giving tree.

Kalamazoo and Grand Rapids Charities

Mel Trotter Ministries

Mel Trotter Ministries seeks to bring an end to homelessness in West Michigan through rescue and restoration. This winter, Mel Trotter Ministries is asking for waterproof winter boots, waterproof gloves, hats, socks, underwear and more all in adult sizes. Additionally, new or like new items can be donated to sell in the Thrift Store. Items needed by the organization can also be purchased on the Amazon Wish List online and shipped to Mel Trotter Ministries.

Warm Kids Project

The Warm Kids Project has been delivering warm coats to kids in the Kalamazoo, MI area since 1986. Kids that do not have warm clothes to wear during the winter may not go to school. This organization is seeking financial donations to purchase winter coats and boots for the kids. If you would like to donate time, the organization is also in need of volunteers for fundraising events.

Self Storage Specialists Has Storage Facilities in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, MI!

We are proud to support the organizations and charities benefiting those residing in the areas around our storage facilities. Whether you are looking for storage for a few boxes and other miscellaneous items, or rooms of furniture during a move, we have a storage unit for you. Reserve a traditional or climate controlled storage unit today!

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Interior Design Tips 2019

A stylish living room inside of a homeEvery few years, you may decide that your home needs a fresh look. Maybe your living room has slowly stared to look outdated, or maybe your entire home needs some love. Following a few simple interior design tips can really help to give your home an updated feel. Are you interested in learning more? Read these 7 tips below!

7 Essential Interior Design Tips

  1. Create a focal point: Take a good look at the room you are trying to change. Does it have a natural focal point? Maybe it’s a fireplace, large window or brick wall. If it doesn’t, add an accent wall or large colorful area rug.
  2. Find an inspiration piece: The easiest way to redecorate your home is to find an inspiration piece. For example, when shopping for pieces for your home, did you find a pillow you really like? Or do you have a picture from a magazine you’d like to mimic? Use this as your inspiration piece to guide the rest of your purchases.
  3. Use light colors in small rooms: If your living room, tv room or dining room is smaller area, paint it with lighter colors. Lighter colors can help to open up a space and make it look bigger.
  4. Add decorative mirrors: Just like painting the room with lighter colors, adding large decorative mirrors to a room can help to make a room look larger and more open. Decorative mirrors reflect natural light and can help to add dimension to a room.
  5. Hang artwork at the right height: A common mistake people make when decorating their home is to hang decorations too high above furniture. Artwork and wall decorations should actually be hung between three to nine inches above furniture pieces. Hanging your artwork too high above furniture pieces makes the eye naturally go to the black space between the furniture and decoration.
  6. Add with large plants: Plants are a great way to give your home some character. Place large plants in your living room, dining room and hallway to make your home stand out.
  7. Consider hardwood flooring: Adding hardwood floors to your home can really increase the value of the home. Hardwood floors are not only stylish, they also are relatively easy to clean.

Declutter Your Home with a Storage Unit Rental!

Another way to make your home look more organized and put together is to declutter it. Whether your house is cluttered by personal belongings, decorations or furniture, a house with too many items can quickly look cramped. To avoid taking up too much storage space inside of the home, consider storing seasonal or items that aren’t used as often in a storage unit rental.

Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities all throughout the Detroit, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo areas. Our storage facilities have both traditional and climate controlled storage units available for rent. Reserve a storage unit today!

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Moving Out Checklist for Apartment and House Renters

A woman packs boxes ahead of a moveAre you moving out of your apartment or rental? Moving is not only a lot of work, it can also be very stressful. But, the best way to mitigate stress leading up to a move is to be prepared. Are you interested in learning more? Check out our moving out checklist below!

Moving Out Checklist for Weeks and Months Ahead of Your Move

As Soon as You Decide on Your Move

  • Review your lease: As soon as your move becomes official, start looking over your lease. If you will be breaking the lease or moving before your lease is officially up, it is important to know that there may be some penalties for doing so. Additionally, check the lease for information about who is responsible for cleaning and how much time you have to give in advance for your move.

Two to Three Months in Advance

  • Assess the damage in your apartment: Walk through your apartment and look for discoloration or stains in the carpet, marks on the wall or other damage that may be a concern for your landlord. Additionally, if you hung pictures or shelves from the walls, plan on spackling these holes. Make note of these issues, and plan on talking to your landlord about which areas you should fix ahead of time and which areas may be included in your lease.

One Month in Advance

  • Give notice to landlord: Generally, landlords require one month notice ahead of move out. If your landlord requires a longer notice, make sure you meet their timeframe to avoid being hit with costly penalties.
  • Contact renter’s insurance: Next, contact your renter’s insurance company and let them know about your move. Depending on where you will be moving next, you may have to cancel or change your insurance.
  • Rent a storage unit: Moving all of your belongings on one day can be very overwhelming. Depending on how big your rental is, and how many belongings you have, you may benefit from renting a storage unit to slowly move unneeded belongings into. As you’re packing up your boxes, simply bring the boxes containing items you will not need until after your move to a storage facility. This can help to alleviate the amount of stress the day of your move.

Weeks in Advance

  • Follow up on moving day plans: During the weeks leading up to your move, consider reminding your landlord about your moving day plan. Additionally, follow up with any moving truck rentals and professional movers to ensure they will be there the day of.
  • Start cleaning: Once you hear back from your landlord about your responsibilities for your apartment, you’re able to make a game plan for cleaning and repairs. Your moving day will sneak up on you, so try to start cleaning and making repairs as far in advance of your moving day as possible.

Self Storage Specialists Have Storage Facilities All Throughout Michigan

Are you looking for a storage facility near you? Self Storage Specialists have storage facilities in major Michigan cities, such as Kalamazoo, MI, Grand Rapids, MI, Detroit, MI and Ann Arbor, MI. With so many convenient storage unit size options, we are sure to have the ideal storage unit for you no matter the storage need. Reserve your storage unit today!

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